The 5 Biggest Shift Worker Complaints (and How to Avoid Them)

by Katie Sawyer, · 4 minutes

Employee engagement is a costly risk for employers in many industries. Studies show 43% of employees would leave their job for just a 10% increase in salary due to weak company cultures.

Teams of shift workers may be at a higher risk of poor productivity or high turnover. Fortunately, managers can create a happier workplace if they address common employee complaints. Getting ahead of engagement issues leads to a healthier culture. Here are the five biggest shift worker complaints — and how you can avoid them.

Complaint #1: No transparency into scheduling

Unpredictable work schedules are a major burden for hourly employees. Studies show that unfair scheduling practices are directly linked to workplace unhappiness and personal issues for shift workers. In fact, short notice and inconsistent schedules are linked to fast employee turnover.

And with Fair Workweek laws spreading across the United States, and other regulations spreading across Australia and the UK, managers need to step up their game. Here are three tips to make scheduling more transparent for you and your team.

  • Provide on-demand schedule access to employees with a scheduling app employees can download on a smartphone.
  • Give employees the power to swap shifts with a select list of coworkers to solve simple scheduling issues.
  • Address employee complaints about biased scheduling head-on by using technology to auto-schedule around employee preference, seniority, and demand.

Complaint #2: Inaccurate payroll

Payroll issues are a costly problem for employers. It’s easy to miscalculate employee pay, especially when you’re crunching numbers for payroll taxes or overtime from paper timesheets. But payroll mistakes can create a lot of risks — employee dissatisfaction and wasted time.

And if you fail to calculate payroll correctly, you could even be on the hook for back taxes, interest, and penalties. Keep your employees happy with these tips for accurate payroll.

  • Replace manual number-crunching with automated payroll processes. Not only is it faster to use payroll software, but it also reduces the risk of human mistakes.
  • Integrate your payroll system and workforce management software for smoother payroll processing.
  • Streamline your processes for calculating payroll taxes and overtime with compliance-ready software that runs payroll based on employee time tracking.

Complaint #3: Poor communication

8 in 10 American workers have felt frustrated due to poor communications on the job. Whether you manage a team of baristas, salespeople, or warehouse stockers, communication is key for success.

Shift workers can easily feel disconnected from the bigger picture. Fortunately, good communication is possible in any environment, even with 24/7 staffing or frequent schedule changes.

  • Streamline and centralize communications across shift workers in multiple locations by adopting a single app for announcements.
  • Use read receipts to confirm employees have logged in to view the most important announcements.
  • Encourage employees to provide feedback directly. Use technologies that let employees post a comment on announcements.

Complaint #4: Working clopening shifts

A clopening shift is a schedule that requires an employee to work late to close one night and then return early for an opening shift the next morning. Clopening shifts are a dreaded reality for many employees in retail, healthcare, hospitality, and other hourly work environments.

Studies show that shift workers are more likely to experience real health issues like fatigue or sleep disturbances. In some states or jurisdictions, employers are even required to pay employees a premium for a clopening schedule under laws such as Fair Workweek ordinances.

Here are three tips to help you avoid scheduling clopening shifts.

  • Review employee schedules to make sure team members have enough downtime between shifts. Better yet, use scheduling tools which alert managers to rearrange schedules to prevent clopening.
  • Verify whether you owe employees a pay premium by brushing up on labor laws or connecting with your legal team.
  • Get ahead of peak scheduling requirements, such as seasonal sales spikes or weather forecasts with smart scheduling predictions.

Complaint #5: No recognition for performance

Recognizing hard work consistently is linked to 2.1 times better employee engagement. And that includes shift workers. You don’t have to reward someone with a trip to Disneyland, but recognition goes a long way in employee engagement.

Not sure where to start? Here are some pointers.

  • Adopt a fair, consistent approach to task management by using an app to assign both recurring and one-time tasks to workers.
  • Use performance management software to provide constant feedback on employee performance and identify your best performers.
  • Turn performance management data into consistent efforts to recognize the hardest workers.

Make complaints a thing of the past

Fair pay, predictable schedules, and recognition are a few of the things that can keep your team happy and hard working. Many of the most common shift worker complaints stem from issues that can be solved.

Using software to schedule, run payroll, and track tasks and performance can simplify management and boost shift worker happiness. Boost your team’s morale when you sign up for a free trial of Deputy.

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